How to Discipline a Child – 7 Ways to Build Exemplary Character

As a parent, you should love your children no matter what. However, it is to their benefit to learn discipline from an early age. You should also start holding them accountable for their actions. When a child does something wrong, they need to be punished. It can be difficult for some parents to do, but it’s crucial to exercise your authority. If you don’t teach your children that their actions have consequences, they’re going to lose any sense of moral compass. Discipline isn’t a matter of being cruel to your children. As long as a punishment is fair based on their action, you should go with it.

How to discipline a child varies based on age and maturity. A toddler who draws on the wall should be disciplined differently from a teenager who gets in a fight. It’s not about being cruel to your child or making them feel bad. It’s about teaching them important lessons. This article will show you the best way of how to discipline a child.

naughty little girl sticking tongue out and pulling her two sided pony tails

1. Speak Plainly with Them

When your child does something wrong, you need to punish them and tell them why. For younger children, you need to use more simplified language. Older children and teenagers require more complexity in your tone. You need to make sure that they’re punished as soon as possible.

If you let things linger, you might lose your resolve. Let them know right away how upset you are and that they need to be punished. When learning how to discipline a child, you learn how to be confident with your authority. If you’re at all unsure or reluctant, take the time to rehearse what you say. You can also discuss with your spouse or significant other how best to deliver the punishment.

2. Make It Last

Some punishments warrant sending a child to their room for a few hours. However, others need to be more severe. If your child does something deliberately that they know is wrong, you can give them a long-term punishment. For instance, if a teen sneaks out and goes to a party, they should be grounded.

When the punishment is over, it shouldn’t be forgotten. You should make sure they know you’re remembering what they did. There might be permanent changes that you demand. Your teen could be punished with a security system that only deactivates with a code you know. It might not be forever, but it can stick with them long enough to make a difference.

3. Give Them A Task

Discipline can stick more if you have your child do something good as a remedy. If they did something wrong, give them a chance to do something better. You could have them do chores around the house. Another option is to sign them up for community service.

They might be resistant, but it’s important that they learn how to bring good to the world. It’s also likely that they’ll feel pride when it’s all done. You want to boost your child’s self-esteem in the aftermath. They might be inspired to make a lifestyle change based on your disciplining.

4. Make Expectations Clear

angry mother scolding baby boy in kids room

The purpose of discipline is to make sure your child doesn’t repeat a mistake. If your punishment just feels like you are mad, it’s unlikely to stick. Instead, you need to tell them about why what they did was wrong and how it wouldn’t be tolerated.

You shouldn’t try to shame them any more than necessary. Doing so would just make you malicious. Instead, you need to be adamant yet also rational. Passivity will only let them feel like you’re not serious about punishing them. Let them know that your disciplining is for the good of both of you.

5. Listen to Them

You want to have effective communication with your child. To make this possible, you need to listen to them. While you shouldn’t let them excuse their behavior, you should give them a voice. Ask them to explain, in their words, what they did and why it was wrong. Have them tell you what they would do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

If they aren’t sure about why what they did was wrong, let them ask questions. Use a calm but stern tone of voice. You don’t want to let your anger overwhelm you. If stressed, take the time for some deep breaths before talking with them. You want to have a relationship of mutual trust between yourself and your child.

6. Be Kind

You know how undying your love for your child is, but they might not realize it. While you might be mad at them, it’s out of love. Make sure that they know how much you care for them. When they understand what they did wrong and are accepting their punishment, you can move on together.

They might feel very sensitive in the aftermath. Give them a hug and tell them you love them. You should also let them understand that you’re both human and that you make mistakes too. The bond between a parent and child is sacred and shouldn’t be ruined by transient moments.

7. Let Them Choose Their Punishment

As part of your communication with your child, you can let them decide their punishment.

However, make sure it counts as a punishment, not something that lets them off easily. On the other hand, the result shouldn’t be too punitive as well. You should make the decision for younger children, but pre-teens and teens can make this decision by themselves. Ask them what they have in mind. You will have your own punishments in mind, but they might give you a new idea. The two of you can discuss your ideas to come to an agreement.



Disciplining a child does not have to be an entirely unpleasant experience. You can strengthen your bond and assert your authority. If you have advice regarding how to discipline a child, please share with us. It’s imperative that you help your children to grow into the best person possible. By learning how to discipline a child properly, you can give them a lifelong gift.

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